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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

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function of the historian has in fact been subjected to
the division of labour, and it has been the literary men
who have tended to stress history as " resurrection ", br
have concentrated on the descriptive and narrative part,
Th^ truth is that to delineate a scene; to depict a
personality ; to portray a political crisis in all its urgency;
to narrate a series of events, and to reconstruct the past
in a manner that will enable people really to enter into
it and feel the situation properly—these things not only
require the art of literature in order to give form to the
conception which the historian is seeking to com-
municate ; they require something of the imagination
of the literary man to shape them in the first place—to
turn a bundle of documents into a resurrected person-
ality and to see how a heap of dry facts, when properly
put together, may present us with a dramatic human

- The "literary historians, when discussing their own
craft, have naturally emphasised that kind of history
which is " resurrection ", or they have even assumed
that history entailed nothing more than this. Thomas
Carlyle, writing on a new edition of BoswelTs Johnson,
gives us a typical statement of their point of view.

Rough Samuel and sleek wheedling James [he says] were,
and are not. Their Life and whole personal Environment
has melted into air. The Mitre Tavern still stands in Fleet
Street; but where is now its scot-and-lot paying, beef-and-
ale loving, cock-hatted, pot-bellied Landlord. .. The
Bottles they drank'out of are all broken, the Chairs they sat
on all rotted and burned; the very Knives and Forks they
ate with have rusted to the heart and become brown oxide
of iron, and mingled with the indiscriminate clay. All, all